Vomiting & migraine?

Greetings, all. Quick version of my story – I’m 39, had 4-5 ocular migraines total between 23 and 37, then started in with MAV episodes at 37. You know the drill. I did end up going on nortriptyline in May or June this year, which amazingly worked for me at 10mg. I’d still get brief episodes of MAV from things like air travel, but nothing major. My neurologist then weaned me off the nortriptyline, and I finished it about 2-3 weeks ago.

Now, I haven’t had any MAV since then (hallelujah), BUT I have had now three separate episodes of nausea and vomiting. One was three days long and MISERABLE. In between, I feel 100% fine. I’m not pregnant, but it did remind me of the terrible hyperemesis I had from when I was. I don’t actually seem to have a stomach virus or anything – first of all, because it doesn’t go away, and second, because (TMI) I have no cramping, diarrhea, etc., which is usually the pattern when my kids bring home gastrointestinal bugs.

I DO have some sensitivity to light at the beginning of these spells, and my head vaguely hurts. So my question is, did I just trade in the MAV for a puking version of migraines somehow?? Why can’t I just have a normal terrible headache? (Just kidding – I wouldn’t wish for that either!)

I emailed the neurologist to see if I could go back on the nortriptyline ASAP and then get in to see her, but I thought I’d ask the experts here – is something like this (nausea/vomiting migraine) even possible???


You should see if you can get some phenerga, or maybe zofran…see if that helps abort it when it happens. THese meds are used for post surgical or post chemo nausea. They work great. They affect serotonin, and that might be your issue.
You may not need to go back on NOri if you can just use an abortive med on occasion.
Good luck,

I’m not a doc, but I would bet that its migraine. I have nausea as a regular symptom. I carry Trimethobenzamide 300mg when my nausea gets in my way of normal activities. I would absolutely go on Notriptalyne if that worked for you. You have the light sensativity as well as nausea and vomiting…pretty much spells migraine in my book.


Hi Kelley,
Are you saying the Zofran affects serotonin? If so do you know in what way?


Thanks, all! I went back on the nortriptyline for now, may try to go off of it again in a couple of months. I’ve used Zofran before (when I was severely ill during pregnancy), so I’ll try that if needed when I wean off the nori again. My only complaint with Zofran was the extreme (TMI) constipation. Otherwise, it is really a wonder drug for dealing with vomiting.

Many thanks!

I wonder how the Zafran and the one i’m taking to ward off nausea and vomiting? i take trimethobenzamide

The zofran is an antagonist of serontonin at the 5ht3 receptor. I think it affects the “vomiting center” of the brain. I am interested in this because I used to get super nauseous on birth control pills, and I wondered about the estrogen component. THey rx zofran for severe morning sickness…I know it works great for post surgical nausea, and I used it once when I had food poisoning and it helped within minutes…great stuff…just very pricey.

There is a generic version of Zofran (ondansetron) that has been available for a few years. I took Zofran in my first pregnancy, and it was so expensive, even with insurance. By the time I had the second one, it was available as a generic and MUCH cheaper.